3 Tips for Stress-free Wedding Planning
Wedding planning can be stressful, right? As a wedding photographer I hear from couples about the different stresses they’re encountering every single week. So, in this blog post, I’ll share my advice for a smooth and stress-free wedding planning journey!
But first, if you’re newly engaged this should be a time of happiness and celebrations. So before I even get started on top tips for wedding planning I’m going to say: Take some time to enjoy being engaged first… before you do anything else!
Over on Instagram recently I met with London wedding planner, Ann Nicholas and we chatted about all things wedding planning for couples starting out on their wedding journey. Detailed below are three top tips for planning a wedding from the interview. You can watch/listen to the whole thing if you fancy, to see what other tips you can pick up!
1. HOW TO BE ORGANISED FOR WEDDING PLANNING
Hands up if you love a spreadsheet! *raises both hands*
To be super organised, use a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet will become your best friend for wedding planning. On it, you will list all the suppliers you need; starting with everyone you contact and their quote. Then once booked, you can make a note of the contact details and monies paid to secure them for your wedding date and the outstanding balance and when it’s due. You can also list important dates for getting information back to them; and what information they need by which date.
As you add the cost of each supplier, create a tally for the total amount… keep an eye on this as you book and buy things!
And you can also create your guest list on another tab with everyone’s contact details – addresses or emails for when you send your save the dates and invites!
2. SET A BUDGET FOR THE WHOLE WEDDING
Which comes first; the spreadsheet or the budget? Hmmmmmm.
Together sit down and set a realistic budget for the whole wedding. The wedding itself and also the honeymoon, hen/stag parties – everything associated with the wedding. What can you afford right now, and what can you save in the time between now and to the wedding date? What are the most important things for you both to budget for? And keep a budget buffer for just-in-case!
Once you have the budget, go through your list of wedding suppliers and allocate a percentage to each in order of priority. For example…
Once you’ve found the wedding venue; list all the associated costs for that. The cost of the venue is usually dictated by guest numbers (more on that below), the time of year and location. Maybe spend less on the flowers so you can pay for a free bar for your guests? Having the fancy wine with the wedding breakfast? It all adds up so it’s likely the venue will take the biggest chunk of your budget.
Then list your other wedding suppliers in order of importance to you both and allocate a percentage – (obviously wedding photography will be at the top!) Researching and sourcing quotes from suppliers first will help you gauge how much you need to allocate before making a final decision.
I can tell you every wedding photographer prices themselves differently and offers different things, so I’m guessing other wedding suppliers are the same. So, after you’ve decided which suppliers are important, then you need to figure out what’s the most important out of what they offer.
3. DECIDING ON YOUR GUEST LIST FOR YOUR WEDDING
Ann talks about the guest list in more detail on the IGTV interview which you can watch on YouTube. Your guest list and budget are intertwined; either you’ll need to go higher on the budget if you can’t cut your guest list down, or if you’re really adamant about your budget, cutting your guest list could be the only option.
Ann suggests you write out your guest list and then cull. Then cull again. And again and so on, until you’re down to your ultimate favourites to attend.
A final note…
I really hope you find starting your wedding planning journey a little easier with these top tips. I can recommend your next stop being the interview with Ann (linked above). It’s 45 minutes long so I recommend you listening with a gin!
If you have any questions about this I’d love to hear from you, please contact me via the button below.
You might also like this blog post about downsizing your wedding for Government restrictions